I am coming like a Swede in the night
to Henry's Diner (or not coming)
coming like Ava Gardner with a spring
in her step (and double-cross in her heart)

to the shores of great rivers dancing
with thieves in gilded armor (and lead)
I am coming like Vietnam-bred
hootchie-cootchie man breathing

the same air (brotherhood cosmos)
as a summer cicada hidden in a crown
of tupelo trees drowning (almost)
in their drone beyond reason

coming in the sweet child-food
of Melchizedek that bees make
to temper the blood (just as a book
tempers hot iron paws along the road)

to restore you like the sun
and prepare the way (here it gets
omen-like) for the drama (the set-
up) in a garden of stone manes

where children gather to appease
the dead ancestors ranged
under the prairie waiting red-
eyed all night long for the wise

footstep the light wheeling
pivot the morning
birth-rite (swing
as you may to leeward (heeling

highway crust (Hiawatha


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